1. In this wild and wacky world, sometimes you just want to watch a video of a deer and a bunny hopping around together. I know that’s made me happy today. Where’s your happy place? For more much-needed distractions, check out the Bangor area this weekend. Friday night, in Bangor there’s David Raitt and the Maine Line at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s the Strangely Possibles at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and next door to that, there’s the ARTober Kickoff Party from 7 to 9 p.m. at 58 Main, kicking off ARTober, the City of Bangor’s month of the arts. In Old Town, North of Nashville is at the Boomhouse, there’s an 80s vs 90s dance party and costume contest at Woodman’s in Orono, and it’s movie night at The Family Dog, also in Orono, with an 8:30 p.m. screening of “Beetlejuice.” On Saturday, take your pick in Bangor of either Koostix at Paddy’s, rockers Fifth Freedom, Kindred and Dark Rain at the Union Street Brick Church, When Particles Collide at Black Bear Brewing in Orono or Riff Johnson at the Boomhouse in Old Town. There’s also the Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University.
2. It’s a big weekend in Portland, so let’s skip the small talk and go straight to it. Friday night, legends Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen are at Merrill Auditorium, local favorite Eric Bettencourt is at One Longfellow Square, and there’s songwriter Sorcha Cribben Merrill at Portland House of Music. On Saturday, the second annual Waking Windows Festival kicks off at noon, featuring more than 50 bands and artists in venues including the Space Gallery, Empire, Geno’s, Blue, One Longfellow Square, Tandem Coffee, the Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box and Congress Square Park, with major artists including Vetiver, Jeff the Brotherhood, Nat Baldwin, the Luyas, Lisa/Liza and many more; tickets are available at www.wakingwindows.com. Elsewhere on Saturday night, Kevin, the English Muffins and the Last Sip are at Mayo Street Arts, comedian Juston McKinney is at Port City Music Hall, two shows from Dar Williams are at One Longfellow Square, Portland House of Music hosts the Fogcutters Big Band, and at Bayside Bowl, there’s the Pubcrawlers, Zukie Fury, the Gamma Goochies and El Grande. On Sunday, rock legend Graham Nash is at the State Theatre.
3. On the Midcoast, Friday night brings poet Dave Morrison’s entertaining poetry-music performance piece Poetry Rocks at the Camden Opera House, while in Belfast, there’s the monthly Flying Shoes Contradance, and in Rockland, songwriter Alex Bigney is at Rock City Coffee; on Saturday, Hurry Down Sunshine is also at Rock City Coffee. On Sunday, retro jazz ensemble The Hot Sardines are at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, while the super sold-out show from Lake Street Dive is at the Camden Opera House; if you were lucky enough to get tickets, you’re in for a great show.
4. There’s lots of fantastic theater to be seen this weekend in Maine, including Ten Bucks Theatre Company’s annual 24 Hour Play Festival, the results of which will be performed at 7 p.m. at Comins Hall in Eddington. In Orono, the Collins Center for the Arts presents a live broadcast of “The Threepenny Opera” at 7 p.m. on Friday, and the Aquila Theatre Company performs Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile at 4 p.m. on Sunday. And in Portland, Portland Stage opens its season premiere production of “Later Life” by A.R. Gurney, with performances all weekend at their Forest Avenue theater.
5. What else is going on this weekend? Well, first off, it’s Maine Craft Weekend, a statewide tour of Maine craft studios where you can see artists and artisans do their thing, and probably buy something really cool/pretty/unique; you can map your trip on the website. Closer to Bangor, Living History Days will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum off Route 178 in Bradley; experience the sights, sounds and smells of life in the the past at the museum’s largest event of the year. In Freeport, the annual Freeport Fall Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday featuring art, music, activities and lots of tasty food, while in Searsport, Fling Into Fall is set for all day Saturday, with lots of fun children’s activities and tasty fall treats.